Several tendons can be used as autografts for anterior cruciate ligament reconstruction, and the choice often depends on the surgeons’ preferences. The quadriceps tendon is a commonly used autograft. This study presented, for the first time, the morphometry of the harvestable area of the QT using a simple tracing method. Adult cadavers of South Africans of European Ancestry were carefully dissected to expose the tendon. Then the tendon outline (pre-marked to enhance visibility) was then traced on a firmly secured wax paper which assumed the curvature of the tendon in situ. The tracing was then scanned (with its inscribed scale bar) and the morphometrics were measured on the digitized images using an imageJ software. The limb length was also measured in order to normalize all the measurements. Despite the observable difference in the surface area of the quadriceps tendon in each individual, there was no significant difference. For the other measurements, there were no side or sex differences except for the straight distal width which is sexually dimorphic. Some paired parameters showed a strong correlation but the correlation between the limb length and other measurements was weak. These data will be useful for pre-operative planning of anterior cruciate ligament reconstruction and will shed more light into the usability of the quadriceps tendon as a graft with respect to healing at the donor site and the return of knee function.
Sabiha Latiff, Oladiran I. Olateju
School of Anatomical Sciences, Faculty of Health Sciences, University of the Witwatersrand, 7 York Road, Parktown, 2193, Johannesburg, South Africa